Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Developer making bold real estate play along Route 202 in King of Prussia

by Natalie Kostelni staff writer for Philadelphia Business Journal
For the last several years, a Florida real estate developer has quietly made a big real estate play in King of Prussia.
In the shadow of Simon Property Group’s mammoth King of Prussia Mall, Hector Viñas has assembled a portfolio of 10 properties, most of which front Route 202. His plans entail demolishing what are mostly old, run down structures and constructing new buildings that will house retail space. The play is to lure tenants who don’t necessarily want to be in the mall but outside of it, to capture some of the traffic it generates as a shopping destination.
If you want to get a glimpse of what Viñas has in mind, you don’t have to look far.
A couple of years ago Viñas bought a closed Exxon gas station at the corner of Route 202 and Allendale Road for $1.9 million. He then knocked it down, spent money to clean it up and constructed a structure that comes to the edge of Route 202 that has sidewalks. He leased the space on a long-term basis to Chipotle and AT&T. In April, Viñas sold the property for $8.5 million, according to Upper Merion records.
This time around, Viñas, whose firm is based in Hollywood, Fla., is looking to execute a similar plan but on a grander scale.
He has under agreement: 107 Forge Road; 727-729 and 731 W. DeKalb Pike; 113 Crockett Road; 705-707-709 and715 W. DeKalb Pike; and 611 W. DeKalb Pike. The sales of the properties are pending and will close if and when they successfully go through the township zoning approval process. The sale prices were redacted out of documents filed with the township because the transactions haven't closed.
Here’s the breakdown of what the developer wants to do:
  • At what is now a vacant McDonald’s at 611 DeKalb, preliminary plans call for the construction of a two-story, 5,000-square-foot building and a single-story, 2,500-square-foot building;
  • At 705-715 DeKalb, plans entail constructing a 6,035-square-square foot structure; and
  • At 727-731 W. DeKalb, Vinas is seeking to construct two structures ­— one that is 1,850 square feet and the other 2,500 square feet.
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